Every year one of the biggest names in the tech industry – Google – pulls some of the lamest pranks on the netizens and we can’t help but marvel at the absolute free time some Googlers have. After all, it takes a team of dedicated engineers to help build a smart Gnome for your lawn, or making the Google Assistant smarter by making it warn you about your ‘distrustful relatives,’ and of course, a series of ‘machine learning’ windmills, especially for the April Fools’ Day.
Dedicating the year 2017 to smarter technologies and mixed realities, here’s a list of Google’s best pranks for the day which have been carefully crafted to suit each product’s perfection and localized to the regional team.
Google’s love for Pac-Man is unconditional. Every year, the arcade game shows up in Google’s pranks, doodles, and hidden Easter eggs. This time, Google has turned its Maps app into the iconic game. Although the ability to play the game on Google Maps had been released back in 2015; this year it has rolled out a sequel called Ms. Pac-Man. Want to see how it works? Fire up the app on your iOS or Android device and click on the pink button on the right. You will be taken to a random spot in the world and get five lives to outrun the ghosts. While in Android the place is auto-selected, on iOS the app lets you pick a location on the map. The web version of the mapping service also allows you to pick-your-own levels.
Taking on its own Google Home, the Google Gnome is a dedicated smart assistant for your lawn – only for taking voice requests for the ‘outdoors.’ Ask Gnome about the weather, but don’t ask it to add milk to your shopping list. Yes, it can turn on and off the water hose, tell you exactly in which direction is the wind blowing and also give you a quick knowledge about how we all are ‘compost’. Watch the video to see Gnome in action. ALSO READ: April Fools’ Day: The best, worst and weirdest pranks from tech companies last year
Google Haptic Helpers
For the VR enthusiasts, Google gave a peek into its Haptic Helpers. These are real humans, working tirelessly, to give you a VR experience. The squad will personally visit your house to stimulate the three senses of taste, smell, and touch which the current VR technology fails to address. Just when you thought that petting a dog was something you never got to experience in your lifetime, these specially trained individuals are capable of doing just that.
Bubble wrap keyboard
Who doesn’t love bubble wrap? It is a feeling beyond description to burst every single bubble on a wrap. Google too understands this and has built a new bubble wrap-based keyboard. Built by the Google Japan team, the bubble wrap (or Puchi Puchi, in Japanese) is a concept machine that lets you first burst the bubble wrap for letters and sentence and then feed it into a device that reads the input and sends your message. Some even have scented air filled in the bubbles for a personalized touch.
Google knows how to build truly smart products and hence, it made Google Assistant for answering your everyday queries from locating a restaurant to telling you about the weather. But who wants to act smart on a Fools’ Day? If you ask the Google Assistant about April Fools’ Day, it’ll reply with some unusual advice such as asking you not to trust your relatives or remain skeptical of whatever appears to be unusual.
Another take on its cloud platform, Google announced its revolutionary smart windmills exclusive for Netherlands. These machine learning-based windmills can do the impossible – blow away cloudy skies for another day. Interestingly, to pull this project (the prank to be precise), Google used its ‘cloud platform’ to predict the weather and enable 1117 wind mills to collaborate with each other and literally, drive away the clouds! Watch these wind mills control the weather like never before.